Sermon on the Mount – Part 1 (By Ben Fronczek)
Once upon a time out in a southern prairie, there was this huge colony of ants. In a somewhat isolated place their colony flourished for generations. They had been there so long and worked on their nest for so such a long time that there was a six foot tall mound of dirt on top of the ground and hundreds of feet of caves below. Now whether you realize it or not, most of the eggs that are laid by the queens grow up to become wingless, sterile females who are the “workers”. But every now and then a male comes along. In this particular nest a young male was born, and he was one good looking ant, (at least a lot of the other ants told him that he was). Even though he was small he was strong and was able to do his job quite well, and very fast. Seeing that he was so strong and moved quick, it was decide that he would be sent out of the nest to gather food. As usual, he did this job very well, and gathered more food than any of the other ants. The other ants also notices that he was a fairly smart ant, and quite wise. Eventually he thought that he deserved more recognition, he was strong, good looking, he did his job well, so he thought he deserved more. He went to the foreman ant and demanded better lodging, and a higher position. But the foreman could not do anything for him and told him that he had to speak to someone higher up. So during his free time that ant went from the manager to the supervisor, to the boss, and even to the big boss ant and basically they all told him the same thing, ‘that they never had anyone make such a request and that they could do nothing about what he wanted. He would have to go to someone higher up’. So eventually, he made his mind up to go right to the top, he would seek an audience with the queen. And why not, he was a good looking, hard working, and a somewhat intelligent ant. Shouldn’t he deserve more? Well the day finally came, his audience with the queen, his mother. Well, she was actually the mother of all the ants. Mother of thousands upon thousands of ants in that colony. She was very old, and wise, and she was so much larger than the little male ant. She looked like a giant compared to him, and she seem very busy. As the little male ant stated his case before the queen he almost felt that the queen was just too busy, ready to lay even more eggs. She said, “Yes I see that you are a handsome little things, and I heard that you have done very well at your job of collecting food for the colony, and now you say you want something more. Oh my, I’ve never had any other ant ask for more, a promotion per say. All of us ant are born with a job to do and we simply do it, including me. My job is to bring more and more of you into the world and lay more and more eggs”. She told him, “I think you need to talk to someone even higher up than me.” And the little male ant asked, “Is there someone with even more power and authority than you?” And she responded by saying, “Oh yes my dear, you need to talk to our creator and our God. So go forth and find Him and He will help you understand what you need to know.” As he left the queen and then left the nest, and began to scurry away from the ant mound he wondered where He could find the creator. He decided to go to the highest place he knew, to the top of the big old tree on the plain. It took him two days to climb to the top. After he reached the top he was amazed how far he could see. So much farther than he ever saw before. At the top of the tree, on one of the highest branches, he began to call out to the creator. Almost all day he waited and continued to plead for an audience with God to ask for more. And then at dusk the Lord came to him. And so the Lord spoke to the little male ant and asked, “Tell me little fellow, what is on your mind.” And so the little ant proceeded to tell the Lord all that was on his mind; how because he was such a good worker, even quicker than most, and because he was so good looking, and even intelligent and wise, he told the Lord how he thought that he deserved a better position in the colony, better accommodations and more. And so the Lord God spoke to the ant saying, “So you say you are very intelligent and wise. Since you think this, I would like to show you something.” And before he even realized it the little ant began to move through the air somehow feeling like he was being carried by the hand of God. The great field he knew so very well quickly disappeared behind him. All of a sudden he began to see things that he could not even imagine. There were all kinds of huge animals, hundreds even thousands of times bigger than even the queen ant. More than he could ever have imagined. The Lord set me upon the a beautiful yet mighty beast called a horse that stood so very high compared to an ant, and it began to run began to run as fast as the wind. And then as he moved away from the horse, up and up, all of a sudden he saw large buildings, so big that they boggled his little mind. Building that reached up and touched the sky. He thought that his ant mound was monstrous. The Lord allowed him for a moment to place his feet on a sky scraper which was over 2500 feet high. He wondered how anyone could build such a monstrosity. And then he saw them for the first time, humans erecting one of those structures and then he began to rise again.
As the Lord lifted him higher and higher into the air all of a sudden he saw a shiny bird moving across the sky coming toward them. The wings did not move yet it traveled faster than any bird he ever saw. As the Lord brought Him closer he saw that it was not a bird but a huge flying machine filled with even more humans. He could barely fathom the size of that machine, not to speak of how they got it off the ground. And then the Lord began to take him higher and higher now. All of a sudden it turned dark and the stars became brighter than he ever saw them before. He turned his head and looked back to see the planet earth leaving them behind. He never had any idea that he lived on a such beautiful blue ball. They were moving so fast the earth disappeared very, very quickly. He saw that there was more than just one planet, there so many, thousands, millions going around billions of stars. And as they exited out of our galaxy he saw that there were more glaxies, hundreds if not billions of them containing trillions of stars and planets. It was more than the little ant could fathom. And then the Lord said, “I have shown you only a small portion of my physical creation, now I will show you more.” And then something happened. He was in a totally different kind of place. I believe it is what one would call the spiritual realm. There was bright light that seem radiate love. And the sound of music and praise resounded everywhere and through everything. He heard many other wonderful sounds that he could not even imagine hearing. And the colors, nothing like he ever saw before. There were large and beautiful winged creatures, everything seemed solid yet transparent. It was sensory overload for the little ant. He saw thing so glorious it would be impossible for any earthly being to put into words, yet here he was. But it was too much. He closed his eyes, and then all of a sudden the music stopped, and when he opened his eyes he was again sitting in a safe place atop that tall tree close to his home. And then he heard the Lord speak and say, “Now little wise ant let me ask you a few questions. After seeing the other creatures on your world, the animals small and large, and the humans with their building and machines, where were you when I created them? As you left the planet so beautiful and blue seeing the untold number galaxies and stars did your wisdom help me create them? And when I created the unseen spiritual realm with all its wonders, let me ask you, how did I do it? And how do I hold it all together so that everything works with such harmony? Tell me ol’ wise one, how and why I should honor you?” The little ant on top of the tree all of a sudden felt very, very, very small. Less than a speck in the universe; small, trivial, and powerless in the presence of the One who created so much. What was he compared to those beasts of field he saw, or compared to a planet, or stars or a galaxy of stars?He told the Lord, “I did not know what I was talking about. I feel like less than a speck in the grand scheme of things my Lord. I am so sorry for thinking that I was so important to this world. Surely I spoke of things I did understand, thing to wonderful for me to know. You have shown me great wonders and now I feel like a fool and am sorry for being so arrogant. I humbly bow before you.” And then he bowed as low as an ant could bow.
And then the Lord said, “One day My Son stood on a large hill to teach those who would hear Him. He began His lesson by telling them something which is fundamental and needed by anyone who wants to learn more, and become a child in my kingdom. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
In other words, it is not the haughty, boastful and proud that will be happy and blessed by Me with true wisdom and life, rather it will be the humble individuals, those who are not puffed up and stuck on themselves. The only way that the mighty horse that I set you on can be trained and taught is to break his spirit, because he is a proud animal. I hope that this has taught you something.
The ant returned to his home with a totally new perspective. Over time he did get a promotion but it was more because of his hard work and experience in his field. It was not because of his good looks or because of how smart he thought he was.
Another thing he noticed about the other ants in the colony, they all just seem so grateful for what they had. They never sought after more because they were simply thankful for what they had. He also learned to become thankful for what the creator had given him. In the great scheme of things and considering what the creator had showed him, later he often thought,‘Who are you little ant to demand anything?’
In Proverbs 16:15 it says, “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”
Isaiah 2:12 says, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” NAS
James 4:6 says “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
In his last letter
Paul wrote of the future, it may even be our present time, he wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
From the very beginning of scripture to the end we see God’s intolerance for those who think they are some kind of big shot, those who think they know it all and deserve so much more than others. Rather we see God wants to bless those who are poor in spirit, those who have a humble heart.
And so what can we do to prevent us from falling into this trap.
There are people in this world who are a bit diluted and are trying to convince us that we deserve more. Just watch the ads on your television. You need, even you deserve a new car, and not just any car but rather a expensive designer car. And furniture, and a cruise, and the latest I-Phone, and I-Pad, and the list goes on. You just deserve it.
And don’t settle for what your parents had. Go for the gusto! You deserve it, you are smart, and educated, and good looking. Don’t settle for less. And that line of thinking has led to unrealistic debt and why I think there are so many today going around feeling depressed; because there are too many that don’t have the means to acquire what we are told people should have.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:3 “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
I can’t help but think that in many ways we are like that little ant who did not realize how small and obscure he was in grand scheme of things, compared to all creation, and compared to a God that can create and manipulate it all. For example, in recent years whith help of the Hubble telescope, scientists have learned much about the universe which we live in. We are all familiar with our solar system and stars, and even a grouping of stars called a galaxy. But did you know this; that the smallest galaxies observed contain over a 10 million stars each? They probably each have their own planets circling them. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has an estimated 200 billion stars. Our closest neighboring Galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy contains an est. one trillion stars. And there are some larger galaxies out there that contain up to 100 trillion stars. That a lot of stars and solar systems.
Now what really blows my mind is the fact that some scientists estimate that there are possible more than 500 billion Galaxies, and there is a design and order in each and every one of them. And that’s just the physical universe that we can see. What about that unseen spiritual realm, how vast is it? Nobody knows.
I often wonder, ‘Who do we think we are to make demands of God the creator, or even think that we are smart enough to doubt His existence.’
Paul said, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Like the ant, God has communicated with mankind and has given us not only glimpses of His glory, but also what He desires from us, because He loves us. And it all begin with a humble heart; one not so full of self that we can’t see beyond our own nose.
Even though we are small compared to the vastness of all creation God has let us know that He love us and wants up to be part of His eternal realm. He loves us so much that He was willing to send His one and only Son to show us what he is like, he also sent him to deal with our impurity and sin, that is if we would only believe in Him and accept this wonderful gift. But the choice is ours.
So my encouragement is this today:
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment. Don’t let yourself become so proud, or arrogant that it blinds you to the truth. Come to appreciate what you have, and don’t worry about what you don’t have. If you are meant to have something down the road, you will get. In the mean time, be thankful and enjoy what you have today!
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